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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter From the Head - 5th June 2020

Dear students, parents and carers,

We have had a very busy week at Holmleigh Park. On Monday, I was delighted to join the staff at Gloucester Academy for the day and welcome them into the Greenshaw Learning Trust; I think this is phenomenally exciting for the students of Gloucester, and I look forward to working closely with the school as it embarks upon its improvement journey. Meanwhile, it has been encouraging to see so many students dive straight back into online learning, and the quality of work has remained as high as ever. We have also been hard at work preparing for the return of some Year 10 and 12 students on Monday 15th June. Full details will be sent to both year groups on Monday 8th.

This week, however, I want to focus on the murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests around the world. We will all have had different experiences; some of you will have been very moved by these scenes, while for others it will have all felt quite distant. I am grateful to those of you who have contacted the school to ask about our response, and I wanted to outline our position

As a school, one of our three values is being kind. This means it’s not enough to simply not be racist – we have to stand proudly against it wherever we see it. Another of our values is taking responsibility. We have done a lot to eradicate racism, but we need to acknowledge that we haven’t yet got everything right – either as a school or as a society. We need to listen and to learn, and I’m therefore proud to affirm that we at Holmleigh Park:

  • Commit to being anti-racist and actively and publicly challenging racism when we encounter it
  • Commit to educating ourselves so that we are knowledgeable educators of our children on issues of racism
  • Commit to actively seeking a diverse staff body and governing body which is more reflective of our community
  • Commit to reviewing our curriculum, our classrooms, our library and our displays to ensure that they are inclusive and culturally relevant
  • Commit to open, honest and challenging dialogue around issues of race and creating a community-led group to drive this
  • Commit to promoting positive and inclusive discussions through our new PSHE curriculum which will be launching this September

A significant part of this strategy will come from strong local governance of the school, and this week we have an important opportunity for a parent or carer to be involved with this. As you may be aware, since June 2019, Holmleigh Park has been governed directly by the Greenshaw Learning Trust Board of Trustees. On 1st June 2020, a new Local Governing Body was established which will oversee our three Gloucester schools – Henley Bank, Gloucester Academy and Holmleigh Park. We are now seeking to appoint a parent from each school to the governing body. Further information and an application form can be found here, and I would strongly encourage you to consider standing for election; you will have an important role in supporting the schools’ development over the coming years.

As always, I hope you and your families are well in these uncertain times,

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Farmbrough